Saturday, November 24, 2007

It was a lovely, intimate Thanksgiving. My younger daughter drove up from New York City with Poopsie, the totally air-headed little poodle she adores (it’s mutual). My cat retreated to a neutral corner for the duration, maintaining her dignity and superiority like a champ. The eau de contempt radiating from her was tangible

Before dinner we went up to the new house so my daughter could see it in daylight, murky and foggy though it was. We haven’t been under but IN a cloud for close to a week now and had become a real bore, but blessedly it broke yesterday afternoon into a magnificently clear moonlit night.

Fritz turned out a great turkey breast, juicy and flavorful, along with butternut squash, mashed potatoes broccoli and cranberry sauce. My daughter brought a bottle of a good sauvignon blanc, and we had a very nice dinner. We spent the afternoon playing Rummikub, discretion prohibiting me from mentioning who won by a margin of 56 points.

Around 7pm we hit the turkey again. I’d baked a loaf of quinoa-almond bread that sliced up well for sandwiches. Then it was Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, a phone call with my older daughter on the west coast, and the day drew gently to a close—a very sweet Thanksgiving Day.


I was liberated yesterday, sprung out of the area by Fritz as we went down to a Boston Symphony concert. I’d purchased the tickets last summer as part of a subscription; with a little preplanning and a lot of help from the BSO’s customer service people, we had a great time.

I called ahead because our seats were in the second balcony—our favorite place to sit for the hall’s legendary acoustics, but full of steep steps to climb for someone on crutches—and we were given two on the aisle in the orchestra for no extra charge given my current disability. The staff couldn’t have been nicer.
On the program was a single major work: Ma Vlast, the great cycle of six tone poems in which Czech composer Bedrich Smetana celebrated the history, myth and countryside of his native Bohemia. The overture to Smetana’s most popular opera, The Bartered Bride, was played as a “curtain raiser.”

Under James Levine’s direction, the orchestra’s playing was absolutely superb—strings creamy and rich, brass that was burnished and noble, seductive woodwinds. My mood improved immensely and I’ve been “up” all day. There's something about Czech music from the Romantic period right into the 20th Century by the great string of composers--Smetana, Dvorak, Suk, Fibich, Janacek and Martinu--that speaks directly to my emotions in a way that even Italian opera can't match. I realized this years ago and am not sure where it comes from, only that it is and that I never fail to be deeply moved by the music.


Monday morning at 9, I go in to the orthopedist for new x-rays to see how the bones are knitting. Depending on the results, I’ll either go into surgery to pin the fragments together or get another cast and work my way toward being able to put weight on the ankle in a week or so—and maybe even be allowed to drive again.


A friend from my gay book group sent me this so I can't swear its authenticity, but the song is funny:

Julie Andrews turned has celebrated her 69th birthday. To celebrate on October 1, she made a special appearance at Manhattan 's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was "My Favorite Things" from the legendary musical "Sound Of Music."

Here are the actual lyrics she used:

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails
and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These
are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and
Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches
with swings, These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I
simply remember my favorite things, And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or
food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they
bring, These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin', Thin bones and
fractures and hair that is thinnin', And we won't mention our short,
shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then
I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad.

(Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over
four minutes and repeated encores.)

Now that's a great song... and a great sense of humor!
Hard to imagine you living IN the cloud bank after the beautiful blue sky that you had for my visit. I was lucky, I guess! The dinner and visit with family all sounds like it added up to a perfect Holiday.
I feel the same way you feel (about Czech stuff) about Sibelius and Nielsen. Must be that folk tune thing.
we luv Ms. Andrews.
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